Chicago GC 2021
by Sage Vanni, Adelade
Note: This course contains 1024x1024 textures and can only be played in version 1.07 or later of Links 2003
|Links Corner Course Database ID Number - 2679
||Chicago GC 2021 v2.00.crz
|Sage kindly gave me (Adelade) permission to update this course and also his blessing for me to do whatever I wanted with it. I liked most things about the original version, so I never wanted to change too much and have kept things as faithful to it as I could, while still achieving my goals. The reason I wanted to update this course was mainly because it was quite short, and previously the furthest tees were about 300 yards shorter than the furthest tees in real life. I also wanted to improve on the previously simplistic green slopes, especially since this course is known for having some very characteristic greens.
Most of the work on this update really went into those green slopes, I ended up spending even more time on them than I had intended (and even more so than on Royal St. George's) so I believe they're quite accurate. Hole previews was another thing I wanted to add, but I ended up doing a bunch of minor edits as well, a full list of changes can be viewed further below.
Chicago GC became the first American 18-hole golf course in 1893. It was designed by Charles Blair Macdonald, and in 1923 his protégé Seth Raynor assisted in remodelling it. It is an open farmland course which includes many versions of the classic template holes that they both are famous for, and is often pointed to as one of the best examples of how even relatively flat and uninteresting pieces of land can be turned into great and interesting golf courses. After some tougher first few holes, it mostly plays fairly short and easy compared to many of the modern PGA courses, but still isn't a pushover thanks to many challenging green complexes. Another very characteristic feature are Raynor's sharp angled green shapes.
I recommend a high rate of difficult pins if you don't like courses being on the easy side, in general they are not on steeper slopes than the moderate or easy pins, but rather in green areas that are tougher or riskier to attack. No pins are closer to fringes than 10 feet, and none are on a steeper slope than around 3.5%. I recommend F/Mc or F/Fc for green settings, the Redan hole 7 for example plays amazing on F/Fc in my opinion, you can make some really cool shots on that setting there.
Full list of Changes:
-Elevations for all 18 greens and their immediate surroundings completely remade.
-Tees completely replanted. The Back tees are based on the yardages from Wikipedia, which I believe is how the course most likely would be set up if a really big men's tournament was held there. The Middle tees are based on the real-life black tees, Forward tees are based on the real-life white tees, and Ladies tees are based on the real-life red tees (I believe the course par is higher for Ladies by the way). The Junior tees I didn't really know what to do with since there are only 3 different tees in real life on ordinary days, but I planted them with flexibility at tee areas that no other tees were utilizing - overall they play between the yardage of the Fwd and Ldy tees, but are mostly intended as occasional alternatives in custom tee sets. I briefly thought about making further fictional tees instead for one of the tee sets, but it would have required moving or creating new tee areas, and I didn't feel like doing that. I think the course plays challenging enough on difficult pins to not need it. It was difficult to find reliably accurate information about how far the real-life tees play these days, I went with a combination of info from different websites depending on which seemed to be most accurate and up-to-date, and a photograph of a real scorecard from 2020 showing only the first 9, that I randomly found on the internet.
-Pins completely replanted. The greatest challenge is probably if picking pin #17 on each hole, but here is a set that I like, which is a good challenge without being extreme:
12 13 11 16 17 12 14 11 16 - 16 17 11 15 17 17 16 12 17
-Certain large-scale tee-to-fairway-to-green elevations altered here and there to be a bit more like the real course, where I felt it made the biggest difference. I wasn't too particular about it since it can take a lot of work to make sure one doesn't mess up any spots while doing it, and in some cases it was impossible to puzzle different holes together exactly how I wanted them without making more tricky elevation overhauls of several holes at once (which I wasn't interested in doing), but I think the changes that happened turned out nice.
-Grasses (and only grasses) completely replanted (while trying to keep their appearance the same), because at least one of the old grass objects made for some quite unrealistic and inconsistent ball interactions. They play much more consistent now, but it can still be risky to pick aggressive club choices while among them (just like it would be in real life).
-Added simple Hole Previews.
-Subtly colour-corrected a few textures to be more in line with each other. I guess the tee texture saw a slightly bigger edit, mainly to make the mow lines much more subtle, because I felt like it didn't quite fit in too smoothly with the other textures before.
-Subtle change to the default wind direction according to wind roses for the local area. I may have increased the direction variance too, but I don't remember for sure.
-Swapped out a few inconsequential APCD-stock textures such as Asphalt and Concrete for equivalent-looking custom textures, to prevent the 'Red Sky' glitch.
-Added OB to practice range.
-Fixed the seam blend of one bunker on 18th.
-Swapped the deep rough texture between the green and bunker at 12th, to be closer in appearance to the normal rough rather than the one for the tall grasses.
-Moved or removed some trees and bushes off the road behind 14th.
-Cleaned up a couple mesh shadows that were visible on the top cam.
-Removed an out-of-place Mid texture in one of the seam blend textures.
-Name change to include "2021"...
-Tiny edit to the splash screen to include a mention of my edits. (I noticed it is a little low down and gets partially blocked by the loading bar if using a really low game resolution like 800 x 600, oh well.)
Thank you so much Sage for making this course and for letting me update it! And thank you everyone who commented in previous threads about the course.
Feedback (of my edits or potential lack thereof) is always welcome, though I am unlikely to do any more work on this course unless some significant technical problem is found.
|This course is available as a FREE download.
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